Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Das EFX - Straight Up Sewaside LP - Brown Vinyl (/1000)


Music On Vinyl (2019, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

I went pretty crazy for the first Das EFX album, Dead Serious, when it came out.  It was a huge favorite, one that I absolutely played to death in 1991.  By the time Das EFX was ready to unleash their follow up in 1993, their unique "diggedy" style had been co-opted and beaten into the ground by other, lesser artists.  Even Casual took aim at this on his Fear Itself album with the line "Enough of these motherfuckers biting Das EFX."

It's pretty clear that Das EFX took this rampant copycatting pretty seriously as they dropped that style completely for Straight Up Sewaside.  The result is a record that is still strong.  They delve into their usual pop culture references and  hit with sludgy beats and upbeat vocal interplay. But for whatever reason, it doesn't feel as playful or as fun as Dead Serious.  That's not even necessarily a bad thing, there's just a different vibe to this album.

When it came out in 1993, I loved it.  In many ways I thought it was an even stronger record than Dead Serious and I remember writing something like that in a review I wrote for my High School newspaper (yes, I've been writing this sort of thing for a long time and no, I can't explain why I'm not better at it than I am).  But as the years have gone by, I'm always drawn back to Dead Serious and don't listen to Straight Up Sewaside anywhere close to the same amount.  Ultimately, it's a strong record, but doesn't tug on my nostalgia the same way their debut record did.

Das EFX - Straight Up Sewaside (Youtube full album playlist):

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